What do we mean by integrated or unified NPMD and how does it accelerate troubleshooting, enhance IT collaboration, and eliminate blind spots? Unified network performance monitoring and diagnostic tools should collect all packets, all flows, and all device metrics and integrate them in collated, cross-domain dashboards easily tailored to specific audiences and use cases.
In addition, a unified network performance monitoring (NPM) platform captures huge volumes of full-fidelity data (never sampled) across all of your on-premises, virtual, and multi-cloud network environments, transforming it into real, actionable insights your business can use to more quickly detect and fix network and application performance issues and security threats before they impact business productivity.
NPMD tools are meant to provide the breadth and depth of visibility needed by the enterprise by analyzing data from several of the following perspectives and techniques:
Device polling – Your network is filled with infrastructure components – router, switches, etc. Understanding if they are running at peak efficiency and how their behavior is affecting your applications is an essential part of network performance management and diagnostics. Fortunately, most devices support SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) polling, which delivers critical network diagnostics about network device and interface availability and other performance indicators, such as packet loss, errors, discards, CPU, and memory. Other forms of device polling include WMI, CLI, APIs, syslog, and synthetic testing. Streaming telemetry is also quickly catching on as an alternative to SNMP.
Flow Monitoring – Flow monitoring helps IT understand how a network is performing. Flow data offers up-to-the-minute information about communications occurring over the network, including who is sending how much data to whom, as well as how and when. It is available from common devices like routers, switches, firewalls, and load balancers and is easily collected enterprise wide, including the cloud. Thus, flow provides an excellent perspective for end-to-end performance monitoring and incident detection and response.
Packet Capture – There’s a common saying that “packets don’t lie.” Packets provide the only raw, unmanipulated, vendor-agnostic view of performance with real-time and historical visibility into traffic behavior. Packet analysis can identify sources of delay, measure response time and user experience, and, ultimately, pinpoint the root cause of performance problems with fine-grained detail.
By bringing this data together into integrated views and dashboards, IT can identify previously undetectably problems and threats.
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